Interesting numbers. Being a physicist I rehashed the numbers into a column graphic to emphasise the loss/gain of each centre.
Glenshee had issues this year with snow cover so putting this to one side in the analysis Nevis Range could be regarded as approximately the same but they need to keep an eye on the trend over the next few years. The Lecht is a specialist market and they are holding their own even with a more challenging season this year.
The one I would be concerned about is Cairngorm. This was a good consistent season with top to bottom skiing much of the time. After mid term the place was full of snow but very quiet for weeks on end, including the weekends.
I can hear CG management grumbling here we go again winterhighland bashing again what do they know about ski resorts. But for those who know me and follow my posts I think I am possibly the most pro CG here and it is rare for me to have a negative slant. Marketing is an area that transcends operational technicalities, You do not need 30 years in ski centre operations to analyse the business.
When I skied at Glencoe this year I was pleasantly surprised at the improvements and attitude of the staff on the mountain. Their willingness to interact and explain what is going on was so different to CG. I also noticed the clients at Glencoe were very different. The people were I would say towards the upper age groups and the level of skiing ability was significantly higher than at CG. It would appear the experts have left CG and gone to Glencoe. This is where the grey pound has gone.
CG say they are now going for the family approach, there is one flaw in this. Ok the kids are happy but what about Dad? He wants to have some fun too, and then Mum wants to dump the kids with Dad for a while and have a bit of a challenge.
Another approach at CG is to attract the children, the lower cost tickets this year showed that. But what happens when these children are able to earn money and drive, they don't hang around and off they go to the more challenging terrain. A few jumps and parks do not hold their attention and the park rats are not the high spenders on the mountain are they?
To alienate a sector of the market the 35 - 65 year old advanced skier is throwing money away. This is the age group with disposable income and are likely to buy the expensive cloths in the new shop. CG was the centre that could cater for all abilities.
I have seen some positive changes Natural Retreats have made this year, along with some major gaffs that will cost them money. I hope they are spending a good amount of time analysing their market. In my opinion, and I have had a fairly successful career dealing with much higher budgets than the whole of NR corporation put together, they don't have it right, yet... Lets see how they get on next year.
Edited 1 times. Last edit at 09.27hrs Mon 25 May 15 by WindyMiller.
Ski Numbers.jpg (24kB)